Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SCOTUS Oral Arguments on Personal Jurisdiction

Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases on personal jurisdiction. Transcripts below:

 

 

 

 

April 25, 2017 in Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 24, 2017

SCOTUS Denies Cert in Summary Judgment Case

Today the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Salazar-Limon v. City of Houston. Unlike most cert denials, this one prompted written opinions—one dissenting and one concurring. Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ginsburg, authored a dissenting opinion, which begins:

Just after midnight on October 29, 2010, a Houston police officer shot petitioner Ricardo Salazar-Limon in the back. Salazar-Limon claims the officer shot him as he tried to walk away from a confrontation with the officer on an overpass. The officer, by contrast, claims that Salazar-Limon turned toward him and reached for his waistband—as if for a gun—before the officer fired a shot. The question whether the officer used excessive force in shooting Salazar-Limon thus turns in large part on which man is telling the truth. Our legal system entrusts this decision to a jury sitting as finder of fact, not a judge reviewing a paper record.

The courts below thought otherwise. The District Court credited the officer’s version of events and granted summary judgment to respondents—the officer and the city. 97 F. Supp. 3d 898 (SD Tex. 2015). The Fifth Circuit affirmed. 826 F. 3d 272 (2016). But summary judgment is appropriate only where “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact.” Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 56(a). The courts below failed to heed that mandate. Three Terms ago, we summarily reversed the Fifth Circuit in a case “reflect[ing] a clear misapprehension of summary judgment standards.” Tolan v. Cotton, 572 U. S. ___, ___ (2014) (per curiam) (slip op., at 10). This case reflects the same fundamental error. I respectfully dissent from the Court’s failure to grant certiorari and reverse.

Download Salazar-Limon v Houston (dissenting)

Justice Alito authored an opinion concurring in the cert denial. An excerpt:

The dissent acknowledges that summary judgment would be proper if the record compelled the conclusion that Salazar-Limon reached for his waist, but the dissent believes that, if the case had gone to trial, a jury could have reasonably inferred that Salazar-Limon did not reach for his waist—even if Salazar-Limon never testified to that fact. The dissent’s conclusion is surely debatable. But in any event, this Court does not typically grant a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a factual question of this sort, see this Court’s Rule 10, and I therefore concur in the denial of review here.

Download Salazar-Limon v Houston (concurring)

 

 

 

 

April 24, 2017 in Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

SCOTUS Decision on Sanctions for Bad-Faith Litigation Conduct

Today the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger. Justice Kagan’s opinion begins:

In this case, we consider a federal court’s inherent authority to sanction a litigant for bad-faith conduct by ordering it to pay the other side’s legal fees. We hold that such an order is limited to the fees the innocent party incurred solely because of the misconduct—or put another way, to the fees that party would not have incurred but for the bad faith. A district court has broad discretion to calculate fee awards under that standard. But because the court here granted legal fees beyond those resulting from the litigation misconduct, its award cannot stand. 

Justice Gorsuch took no part in the decision.

Download Goodyear v Haeger 15-1406

 

 

 

 

April 18, 2017 in Discovery, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Today’s SCOTUS Oral Arguments

Today’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court featured lots of civil procedure and federal courts issues. Transcripts below:

 

 

 

April 17, 2017 in Class Actions, Federal Courts, Standing, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 7, 2017

And then there were nine

After changing the Senate rules yesterday to eliminate the possibility of a filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, the Senate has just confirmed Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. His first weeks on the job feature oral arguments in several cases raising civil procedure and federal courts issues. 

Monday, April 17:

Tuesday, April 25:

 

 

 

 

 

April 7, 2017 in Federal Courts, In the News, Recent Decisions, Standing, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

SCOTUS Decision on the Appellate Standard of Review for District Court Rulings on EEOC Subpoenas

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued its decision in McLean Co. v. EEOC, which begins:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to issue a subpoena to obtain evidence from an employer that is relevant to a pending investigation. The statute authorizes a district court to issue an order enforcing such a subpoena. The question presented here is whether a court of appeals should review a district court’s decision to enforce or quash an EEOC subpoena de novo or for abuse of discretion. This decision should be reviewed for abuse of discretion.

That first paragraph pretty much says it all, but Justice Sotomayor’s decision also contains a nice summary of the Court’s general approach for identifying the proper standard of review where the relevant statutes do not provide one.

 

 

 

 

April 4, 2017 in Discovery, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 3, 2017

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Corporate Liability under the Alien Tort Statute

Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC. Here’s the question presented:

This case presents the question this Court granted certiorari to resolve, but ultimately left undecided, in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S. Ct. 1659 (2013): Whether the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, categorically forecloses corporate liability.

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

April 3, 2017 in Federal Courts, International/Comparative Law, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March Oral Arguments at SCOTUS

Several interesting civil procedure cases on the Supreme Court’s March 2017 oral argument calendar (more details in the links)...

Today (3/21): Microsoft v. Baker

Tomorrow (3/22): Water Splash v. Menon

Monday (3/27): TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods

 

 

 

 

March 21, 2017 in Class Actions, Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 27, 2017

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Habeas Review of Unexplained State Court Decisions

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Wilson v. Sellers, which presents the following question:

Did this Court's decision in Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86 (2011), silently abrogate the presumption set forth in Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 797 (1991) - that a federal court sitting in habeas proceedings should "look through" a summary state court ruling to review the last reasoned decision - as a slim majority of the en banc Eleventh Circuit held in this case, despite the agreement of both parties that the Ylst presumption should continue to apply?

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

 

February 27, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Whether FRAP 4(a)(5)(C) is Jurisdictional

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, which presents the following question:

Whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) can deprive a court of appeals of jurisdiction over an appeal that is statutorily timely, as the Second, Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have concluded, or whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) is instead a nonjurisdictional claim-processing rule because it is not derived from a statute, as the Ninth and D.C. Circuits have concluded, and therefore subject to equitable considerations such as forfeiture, waiver, and the unique-circumstances doctrine.

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

February 27, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Supplemental Jurisdiction & 1367(d)'s Tolling Provision

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Artis v. District of Columbia, which presents the following question:

Section 1367 of Title 28 authorizes federal district courts in certain circumstances to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over claims arising under State law.

Section 1367 further provides that "[t]he period of limitations for any [such] claim ...shall be tolled while the claim is pending and for a period of 30 days after it is dismissed unless State law provides for a longer tolling period." 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d).

The question presented is whether the tolling provision in §1367(d) suspends the limitations period for the state-law claim while the claim is pending and for thirty days after the claim is dismissed, or whether the tolling provision does not suspend the limitations period but merely provides 30 days beyond the dismissal for the plaintiff to refile.

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

 

February 27, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Recent Cert Grants Now on SCOTUS Oral Argument Calendar

Earlier we covered last month’s flurry of cert grants by the U.S. Supreme Court, including several cases raising interesting civil procedure and federal courts issues. Many of these, as well as some earlier cert grants, are now on the court’s March and April oral argument calendars:

Tuesday, March 21:

Wednesday, March 22:

Monday, March 27:

Monday, April 17:

Tuesday, April 25:

This means that decisions in these cases will likely come down by the end of June.

 

 

 

February 20, 2017 in Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Personal Jurisdiction: Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court

The U.S. Supreme Court’s docket of civil procedure and federal courts cases continues to expand. Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, which will review a California Supreme Court decision handed down this summer. The cert petition presents the following question:

The Due Process Clause permits a state court to exercise specific jurisdiction over a defendant only when the plaintiff’s claims “arise out of or relate to” the defendant’s forum activities. Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472 (1985) (citation omitted). The question presented is:

Whether a plaintiff’s claims arise out of or relate to a defendant’s forum activities when there is no causal link between the defendant’s forum contacts and the plaintiff’s claims—that is, where the plaintiff’s claims would be exactly the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts.

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

January 19, 2017 in Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Today’s SCOTUS Decision on Federal Jurisdiction & Fannie Mae

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corp. Justice Sotomayor’s opinion begins:

The corporate charter of the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, authorizes Fannie Mae “to sue and to be sued, and to complain and to defend, in any court of competent jurisdiction, State or Federal.” 12 U. S. C. §1723a(a). This case presents the question whether this sue-and-be-sued clause grants federal district courts jurisdiction over cases involving Fannie Mae. We hold that it does not.

Download Lightfoot v Cendant Mortgage

 

 

 

January 18, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Decisions, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Oral Argument in Abbasi

Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in three consolidated cases raising issues relating to Bivens, qualified immunity, and pleading standards.

The cases are Ziglar v. Abbasi (No. 15-1358), Ashcroft v. Abbasi (No. 15-1359), and Hasty v. Abbasi (No. 15-1363). You can find more details on the cases here.

Here’s the transcript from today’s argument.

 

 

 

 

January 18, 2017 in Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Supreme Court Cases, Twombly/Iqbal | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 13, 2017

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Judicial Review of MSPB Decisions

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, which presents the following question:

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is authorized to hear challenges by certain federal employees to certain major adverse employment actions. If such a challenge involves a claim under the federal anti-discrimination laws, it is referred to as a “mixed” case. This case presents the following question:

Whether an MSPB decision disposing of a “mixed” case on jurisdictional grounds is subject to judicial review in district court or in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

January 13, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Decisions, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Cert Grant on General Jurisdiction & FELA

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, which presents the following question:

In Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014), this Court held that the Due Process Clause forbids a state court from exercising general personal jurisdiction except where the defendant is “at home.” BNSF Railway Company is not at home in Montana under Daimler, yet the Montana Supreme Court held that BNSF is subject to general personal jurisdiction in Montana, and can be sued there by out-of-state plaintiffs for claims that have no connection at all to the state. The Montana Supreme Court explicitly “declined” to apply this Court’s decision in Daimler, for two reasons: First, because the facts of this case involve American parties and arose in the United States, not foreign parties and an overseas injury as in Daimler. Second, because the plaintiffs here sued under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), which is a different federal cause of action from the ones at issue in Daimler. Section 56 of FELA establishes venue for cases filed in federal court, and it provides for concurrent subject-matter jurisdiction in state courts. Yet the Montana Supreme Court held that this provision authorizes state courts to exercise personal jurisdiction, and that the statute overrides the limitations of the Due Process Clause.

The question presented is:

Whether a state court may decline to follow this Court’s decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, which held that the Due Process Clause forbids a state court from exercising general personal jurisdiction over a defendant that is not at home in the forum state, in a suit against an American defendant under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

January 13, 2017 in Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Article III Standing & Intervention

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, Inc., which presents the following question:

Whether intervenors participating in a lawsuit as of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) must have Article III standing (as three circuits have held), or whether Article III is satisfied so long as there is a valid case or controversy between the named parties (as seven circuits have held).

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

January 13, 2017 in Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Decisions, Standing, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Class Actions and Statutes of Limitations

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in California Public Employees' Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, Inc., which presents the question: “Does the filing of a putative class action serve, under the American Pipe rule, to satisfy the three-year time limitation in Section 13 of the Securities Act with respect to the claims of putative class members?”

(This question was the subject of an earlier Supreme Court case (IndyMac), but cert in that case was dismissed as improvidently granted because of a settlement.)

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at SCOTUSblog.

 

 

 

January 13, 2017 in Class Actions, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Cert Grant on Class-Waiver Arbitration Agreements & Federal Labor Law

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases that raise the question of whether arbitration agreements that forbid class claims violate federal labor law. The cases, which were consolidated by the Court, are:

You can find all the cert-stage briefing—and follow the merits briefs as they come in—at the SCOTUSblog case pages for Epic Systems, Ernst & Young, and Murphy Oil.

 

 

January 13, 2017 in Class Actions, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)